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Where do you go for Regional Data?

Salmissra

Cyburbian
Messages
5,938
Points
30
I'm using this time to focus on my department's website and doing some updates. One of our departments covers development issues and leans towards city planning topics, such as regional indicators for growth, economic indicators (not in-depth - overview level) and in the past even kept member agency ordinances (I'm removing that - records retention is not our responsibility).

I want to beef up our resources and tools section. Categories such as model ordinances, how-to manuals/cheat sheets, regional/big picture ideas and opinions, and maybe some maps (I will pull from my own agency for that - we have a great map database).

1) Where do you go in your area/region for tools and resources? Who has the best collection of useful information?
2) Why do you go to one website and not another?
3) What types of tools are you looking for?
4) What areas are you struggling to find data?
5) Any suggestions on things to put in the toolbox?

Thanks for the assist. I want this new version to be useful.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
18,521
Points
69
A better answer to your question:

1) Where do you go in your area/region for tools and resources? Who has the best collection of useful information?
Google. Not to brag, but I'm very, very good at targeted Google searches. If I'm looking for something in-state, I'll add "site:ecode360.com" -- it's the URL of the codifier that a large number of cities, towns, and villages in New York use. I'll add "filetype: pdf" to find codes that aren't on the codifier sites. Looking for FBCs? Use keywords like "build-to zone", "transect", or other FBC-specific terms. For browsing, I like MRSC (Washington state-specific, but its been online nearly as long as Cyburbia!). When I'm at a loss for words, I like Planning Commissioner's Journal for really good explanations of contemporary planning practices.

2) Why do you go to one website and not another?
I really don't know. I bookmark a lot, and unfortunately never get around to sorting them out. (Maybe, working from home, I'll have the time to do it.)

3) What types of tools are you looking for?
For me, model codes, architectural/design regulations, engineering/street construction standards, "rule of thumb" standards of the kind found in Time Savers guides, APA Planning and Urban Design Standards.

4) What areas are you struggling to find data?
How to introduce contemporary planing practices to a region that's far, far behind the curve in many other aspects of planning. For example, the idea of screening rooftop mechanical equipment or requiring parking lots to be paved is seen as radical here. Some practices that are SOP in most other parts of the country are nonexistent here.)

5) Any suggestions on things to put in the toolbox?
See the above.
 

bigfoxy98

Member
Messages
4
Points
0
I work in a Regional Commission, so I might be a little biased, but we don't have everything and rely on other data sources as well.

Categories such as
model ordinances: we have model ordinances on our website for the things many of our local governments have asked for. The GA Dept. of Community Affairs also has some of these resources

how-to manuals/cheat sheets: For us I would say the GA Dept of Community Affairs, but I have also relied on national associations (depending on the topic) for some of this.

regional/big picture ideas and opinions: Here in GA we are required to do Regional Comprehensive Plans, Regional Water Plans, and each state agency does a long range plan that often has big picture ideas broken down at the regional levels.

and maybe some maps: For us in GA we have a state GIO that has some resources. ArcGIS online has allowed many reliable organizations to publish data out there. State DOTs often have a good amount of data as well that is not necessarily transportation related. Also don't forget your federal agencies, they are doing the same things.
 
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